Vices, indulgences, these are the things which never change but which disguise themselves in a thousand forms beneath the mask of prevailing morals: to lift off this mask and expose them, this is the noble task of the person who devotes himself to the theatre.
-Beaumarchais, Pierre Augustin Caron de
-Beaumarchais, Pierre Augustin Caron de
Masks: the hiding & revealing of personalities to create a *false face*. They so fascinate the human soul they have been around since Stone age times & have been made from every conceivable material for every conceivable purpose: spiritual, theatrical, erotic, party extravaganza, simple deceit.
Ditz became enamoured after I introduced her to Amadeus. Gorgeous masks. We did masks for Art ~ several times. It only slowly dawned on Ditz that masks served a purpose other than purely decorative as a theatre prop. I admit it. I happily escorted Ditz to piano lessons & art classes. When she begged for a violin we went out & bought a violin. When she did band we forked out for a flute for the girl. Then it was singing in choir & now the whole AVAE experience which looks set to age me before my time. What I very consciously did not do was drama. I always, always, avoided it, even when it was set as part of our school work I never did it, not because I have an aversion to drama but simply because I own Ditz. Ditz does not need any encouragement along these lines. Drama comes naturally to her.
Besides I did drama. All those stories about theatre people... they're true ~ but it was inevitable. Sooner or later something theatrical was going to come Ditz's way & once bitten I knew she'd have the theatre bug~ & so it did, & so she does. For a while the drama class on the island, the only way I would even consider Ditz being involved in something else! was so amateurish even Ditz didn't have blinders on & so it didn't have a very high priority in her life.
Things have changed. The drama class is still an amateur thing but it makes it a very social event for Ditz & it is her top priority so she was delighted when the drama teacher took the class off island to do their street theatre on the Mainland. Everyone turned up. Everyone had a go. Were they any good? Probably not. I wasn't there so I am in no position to evaluate it all but I do know the kids & their abilities; one reason I wasn't there.
I know when I was at school drama was one of those classes for losers or most definitely extra~curricular along with music, sport & art. None of the Arts got a very high priority because, after all, what are the arts good for? You can't make a living from this stuff unless you are very, very good at it. Most of us aren't very good, barely mediocre, often just plain bad but I hardly think that is the point.
Firstly drama & music teach survival skills. Oh, yes they do! Do you know one of the first things you learn in a drama class ~ to own your space! This means you stand tall & move confidently ~ a huge detraction to bullying. Most instruments insist you stand with proper posture just to play the thing. We had so many education majors do drama just because it taught things like moving confidently, projecting the voice, making things more interesting with a touch of the theatrics. Ever done some theatre or played in a band? Yep. It's a major team sport. Co~operation is the name of the game. Even if you have *stars*, even if you have soloists, even if some are noticeably better than others, the one cannot shine without the others support. In my mind these things alone mean the arts should have a much higher priority in our society.
Then there are the aesthetics. Beauty feeds the soul & is as necessary to life as air. Without it something within us withers & dies.
And if you are the practical sort then quite simply put music teaches discipline & that pervades other areas of one's life. Even without that, studies show that children who play an instrument do better academically. There is something wrong when it takes 4 years or more to teach our children the basics of mathematics but we ignore skills that will enhance their quality of life, giving it that extra dimension that lights the spark of the divine within each & every person, who is, after all, made in the image of God.